Vincent in China

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Monday, November 16 2009

Winter has come in Wuhan

Since few days the weather was very cold, and this morning the first snowy day, a the roofs and trees were laid with a big white snow coat. Nothing more than French snow, nothing less, except maybe the moving forest of umbrella running among taxis, bus and the courageous bike riders.

The air is really fresh and inside restaurants there is no heating device, so it's convenient to keep your coat to eat, unless you wear a sweater and another one over it.

Even in the buildings, like the laboratory I'm working on, it's very cold and rarely with the reverse air-conditioner working, so, keep wearing big coats and sweaters.

A little screen-shot of my computer at start-up, with the ambient air at 10 Degrees.


Some pictures from the balcony taken by my personal photographer. CIMG0231_rs.jpg CIMG0226_rs.jpg CIMG0225_rs.jpg

Saturday, October 17 2009

Some pictures from Wuhan (武汉)

Since my lab-mate Remy bought a new camera, we went on a little trip in Wuchang to train ourself.

Military demonstration on my university campus. Very certainly students enrolled in military training. _IGP4755_rs.jpg

Some cap being sold in the street. _IGP4754_rs.jpg

Little figures carved in a tree trunk. _IGP4743_rs.jpg

A (Chinese) butterfly. _IGP4742_rs.jpg

Wuhan city beach, one of the thousands of lake in Wuhan. Too bad the water don't look so clean, because with the almost 30°C we got today... _IGP4735_rs.jpg

There is even palm tree here. _IGP4734_rs.jpg

The restaurant I'm used to go to eat for my lunch, with the home made noodles, very impressive to see, I'll take some pictures of this art later. This a typical Gansu (甘肃) restaurant, and since Gansu people are mostly muslim, it's also a muslim restaurant without pork. _IGP4728_rs.jpg

Monday, October 5 2009

Visit of the Yellow Crane Tower

This Saturday I went to the Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼). This place is located in Wuchang (武昌), on the so called "Snake Hill".

The park is in the middle of the town on a little hill, from which you can have a very good view of Wuchang (武昌) and Hankou (汉口), which is on the other side of the YangTse.

In the park there is the Yellow Crane tower, but also other pavillons.

Here are some pictures I took during this visit.

The Yellow Crane Tower :


Yue Fei statue :


View of Hankou from the last floor of the tower :


Other pictures :




Friday, October 2 2009

Chinese National Day

October 1st is Chinese National day, an important time in Chinese life, not because of the origin of the day itself, which was the date chosen to be the declaration of the PRC (People Pepublic of China) by Mao Zedong (毛泽东), but mainly because it's National Day holidays from 1st to 10th.

So we decided to head to Hankou (汉口) on the other side of the YangTse(or ChangJiang 长江) river in Wuhan (武汉), to see the firework which will be fired on the shores of the river. After a little more than one hour in a crowded bus, we arrive at our destination, or almost since a very big part of the road along the Yangtse was closed and for pedestrian.

Already, a very massive crowd of people heading to the place where the firework will occur, a very impressive stream of people. The closer we are from the destination, the fewer space we have to walk or stand, the crowd is now really compact and it's impossible to walk without pushing or making move someone else.

National day in Hankou

In this area, there is a big empty space without trees or building heading to the Yangtse, and everyone guess that the firework will be fired in this area. There is also an open space area where people can go buying tickets to have a better view. We tried to reach this area but so many people were pushing and moving, it became kind of dangerous to stay in here, so we headed back to our initial position, waiting for the beginning of the firework.

Then two first "boom boom", but nothing in the sky, everyone try to see from where it comes, then another burst, and we finally noticed that the firework is fired under the building with the open space, very low in the sky. There is no way we cna move to see in a better way, after the building there are a lot of high trees. So open space building was the only solution to have a good view of the firework, so we barely see the colours and the sounds, but we were part of this big day !

Some Chinese tried to convert me, they almost succeed !

Newly communism converted

Friday, September 25 2009

A dinner in Wuhan

Thanks to my personal skilled cooker, I have the chance to eat delicious Chinese food, and at home ! Very tasty and colourful.

a normal dinner at home

Tuesday, September 22 2009

About my internship

I'm in China for less than 6 months for an internship in Wuhan University of Technology. My subject is a part of a big project which have been undermine 1 year ago, aiming at developing a router filled with the technology and the hardware required to filter, control the network stream at several levels. Allow some protocols to be used on the networks or not, restrict the bandwidth to users based on their IP, and my part is about QOS (Quality of Service). In a nutshell, I have to manage the bandwidth according to the kind of traffic, and to who it's supposed to be delivered.

For now I've been mostly reading documentation about QOS, routing and Firewall settings, and mostly the two very useful commands iptables and tc available on every Linux distribution.

Saturday, September 5 2009

Some first pictures of Wuhan 武汉,Wuchang 武昌.

Wuhan is not really a city, it s in fact 3 different cities at the north and south of the YangTse. I live in Wuchang, the one at the south of the YangTse.

Wuhan in really huge and the population in the urban area is about 10 millions people. The weather is particularly hot, even according to Chinese standard and it s not rare to have temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius during summer. In addition, the weather is really wet and just staying 2 minutes in the shadows outside is enough to change you into a sticky thing.

Chinese way of driving is really different from France,and kind of disturbing in a first time,even lethal if you don t pay attention to the cars,bus,taxis, bikes and other weird vehicles on the road. When you want to cross the street, even if the light is a brilliant green for you to cross, cars are going and thats your part to avoid them,all this in a kind of horn concerto, which will be very soon nothing special to hear in the coming days.

However, Wuhan is the most crazy city I've been through about driving, with a lot of cars even sometimes bus driving on the sidewalk, the "Wuhan touch" maybe. Some pictures from my flat balcony, 29th floor. Wuhan by night 1 Wuhan by night 2 Wuhan by Day 1 Wuhan by Day 2 My residence

Some other pictures from Chengdu 成都 in Sichuan 四川 province where I spent some days. Those pictures where taken on a very recent spot of the very old Chengdu city about 6000 years ago. Chengdu Symbol Chengdu Golden Mask Chengdu Statue

Friday, August 28 2009

Arrival in Wuhan, more exactly in Wuchang

After a "short trip" of 17 hours in train from Chengdu, the train stops to Wuchang train station, first feeling, it's hot, really hot and wet weather. Two persons from the University are here to pick me up and drive me to the dormitory for foreign students. After a quick chat about the fact I don't want to rent a flat in the campus, I take an hotel room for few days at the North of the campus.

The first night is "cool", compared to the afternoon, but still probably around 30 degrees. Some part of the sky are blue and stars are even visible among the lights of the city. At this time, I say to myself "Finally, Wuhan is not so bad !".A lot of people told me that Wuhan was really polluted and the sky always full of a big heavy pollution fog, but for my part, I'll discover this in few days.

After one day in the city, what I can say is that this city is a mess. Even according to "Chinese standard" of messy and dirty things. The streets and the sidewalks are sometimes mixed (including cars, bikes or buses driving on them. The sidewalks are in a very bad state, uneven, part of them in mud or big stones. Another point is the trashes or rubbish, spread on the streets or on the road close to sidewalks. Every little shop or restaurant throw their trashes like this after 10 or 11 pm, and when the air is still hot and wet, I let you imagine the pretty smell walking in those streets.

To finish with this bad picture of Wuhan, let's talk about the smell you can encounter in the streets. Usually, walking in the streets is a subtle mix of smell from little restaurants, nice smell of Chinese dishes, from time to time, the smell of a bus just accelerating in a black cloud of smoke, and then, a very very bad smell, coming from you don't know where, but really present. It's very unpleasant to walk in an area where this smell is spreading, and even more when you are about to eat.

People are driving in a crazy way, a lot of bikes going on the sidewalks to avoid traffic jam, big street intersections are a mess, with cars on every side of the road and in any way. Chinese driving is like a giant gig of horns and honks.

To sum up, Wuhan is the most dirty/messy city I've been in China. Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming or even smaller cities in the countryside are a lot more cleaner and representative of China.

Thursday, August 13 2009

Arrived in China

After a little less than 12 hours of flight, going through Guangzhou (广州) airport. Aflu forces the passengers to fill a form about their health, but no paranoia from the local authorities about this.

Once outside, what strike the most is the very hot and wet air, falling on you like a heavy continuous rain.

Taking an air conditioned bus to go downtown, I can see again the landscape and streets I went through few months ago. Once in Guangzhou downtown, the same congestion, impressive stream of cars, bus, bikes and other not identified vehicles. The sun is going down very quickly and it's almost at dusk we arrived at the bus station.

With the luggages, back bag and other bags from the duty-free, trying to find an hotel while it's still around 33 or 34 degrees outside.